Callas – Paris, 1958
She was known as La divina, the divine: Maria Callas, a dramatic soprano who was praised not only for her brilliant voice, but especially for the charisma with which she shaped her opera roles on stage. She made her debut at the Paris Opéra on 19 December 1958. Her fame ahead of her, everyone who meant anything was present, including French President Coty, Jean Cocteau, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Charlie Chaplin and Brigitte Bardot. It became an evening to remember. She treated the audience to well-known arias from operas by Bellini, Verdi, Rossini and Puccini - Callas at her best!
Fortunately, the recital was recorded, but image and sound were in need of restoration. And that's where the team that was also responsible for the documentary Maria by Callas stepped in. A 16mm print, only recently found, was digitally restored, while the sound was also polished up considerably, gratefully using recordings from Callas' personal archive. This is how it sounded 65 years ago.